A Simple Guide to Do Properly the Arm Triangle Choke

Chokes are among the best submission techniques used in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and MMA, such as the arm-triangle choke.

The arm-triangle choke (Kata Gatame) is a well-known submission in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and MMA. It’s similar to the standard triangle choke, except the attacker uses his arms instead of his legs. Indeed, It is classified as a head and arm choke that disrupts the opponent’s blood flow.

This guide will help you understand, complete, or rediscover the arm-triangle choke technique with setups, transitions, and other fantastic things. You’ve come to the right place if you’re a jiu-jitsu practitioner looking to learn and master a variety of submissions. Stay tuned!

Triangle Arm Choke Fundamentals

The Kata Gatame or arm-triangle choke can be implemented during the chest-to-chest situation with your opponent (for example, from the side mount).

However, there are plenty of arm triangle variations, each with proper strengths and weaknesses.

Hence, some arm-triangle chokes are best utilized from mount and side control. In contrast, others are better to tap out your opponent from the bottom guard or standing position.

Indeed, each arm triangle requires a particular scenario; you should practice all of them, so you ought to go for this submission from several positions!

The key to breaking through the triangle arm choke setup is to force your opponent to respond by extending his arms. Isolate his hand next, which is required for all triangle chokes variations.

Arm Triangle Choke Variations

arm triangle choke variations

The arm-triangle choke is one of the best head and arm chokes. It can be obtained from various jiu-jitsu positions, including the side control, top mountclosed guard, and half guard, to mention a few. So, what is the best triangle choke variation?

The side control (side mount) is the most basic position for finishing an arm-triangle choke in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and other grappling martial arts.

Aside from that, there are other arm-triangle variations that you should learn, such as the reverse arm triangle, the mounted arm triangle, and so on, and that’s what I’ll cover in the following sections.

Arm Triangle from Top Mount

The mount is one of the most dominant positions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and MMA. So, it can offer you a plethora of BJJ submissions and transitions such as the arm-triangle, cross chokearmbar, and so on.

As a result, landing in the mount position may be advantageous for many BJJ practitioners. 

The arm triangle from the mount can help you to end a fight. So, what are the steps to properly execute this head and arm choke?

The following steps will help you perform the arm-triangle choke from the mount position. 

  1. The primary step is to mount your opponent.
  2. Drive your shoulder into your opponent’s face to create shoulder pressure. This will force him to push you away by extending his arm, allowing you to trap his arm and head in your choke.
  3. Wrap your arm around the opponent’s neck, and secure the grip.
  4. Squeeze to finish the arm choke submission and wait for the tap!

In the following video, you’ll get some helpful tips for correctly accomplishing the triangle arm choke from the mount.

Source: Hurricane Jiu Jitsu

Arm Triangle Choke from Side Control

Side control is one of the most powerful positions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. After passing the opponent’s guard, a persistent practitioner will land at the side control position. He will have many submission techniques when he arrives, such as arm-triangle, armbars, chokes, etc.

So, the question is: what are the required steps to properly perform an arm-triangle choke from side control?

The following are significant steps to help you finish the side control arm-triangle without issues. 

  1. The primary step is passing your opponent’s guard and reaching the side control.
  2. Wait for your opponent’s reaction; he will likely use his hand to create space to escape.
  3. Seize the opportunity by controlling the opponent’s head and swimming your forearm underneath his neck. 
  4. Isolate the opponent’s arm using his free arm and elbow across your face.
  5. Place your head backtrack to pin the opponent’s shoulder down and close the space.
  6. Grab for the gable grip by clasping both palms together to control the opponent’s head and arm well. 
  7. Squeeze and finish the arm choke submission, and wait for the tap!

Need more help!

Throughout the following video, you’ll get helpful details on setting up and finishing the arm triangle from the side control.

Source: Howcast

Arm Triangle from Closed Guard

The closed guard is among the essential guards in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It gives the bottom player a plethora of attacks like the arm-triangle choke. 

Aside from that, the arm triangle from closed guard may be one of the early submissions that any practitioner should know. So, how to set up a triangle arm from a closed guard?

Here are some practical steps to perform an arm-triangle choke from the guard.

  1. Begin by having your opponent into your closed guard. 
  2. Break your opponent’s posture.
  3. Use your knees to kick into the opponent’s upper body to drive him out of balance. These movements force your opponent to put down one hand on the mat.
  4. Trap the opponent’s arm, and make a hip escape to secure it. Meanwhile, use your head to push his arm across his face as you’d from a regular arm triangle.
  5. Interlock your arms together by clasping your palms together for a gable grip.
  6. Readjust yourself by hip escaping towards the arm that’s trapped to make the arm triangle very tight.
  7.  Finish the BJJ arm triangle submission!

Yet, many players struggle to finish appropriately, even after years of jiu-jitsu training. So,  here is a helpful instructional video that teaches you how to complete the arm triangle from the closed guard.

Source: Hurricane Jiu Jitsu

Standing Arm Triangle

The standing position is critical in Brazilian jiu-jitsu because it affects your entire game.

Otherwise, when used correctly, standing positions can provide you with some incredible takedowns and submissions, including the arm triangle.

One of the brutal Brazilian jiu-jitsu submission techniques is the standing arm-triangle choke. It could be a great way to finish a fight or get a takedown.

However, it is rarely used because the fighter may not complete the submission from standing or other factors. So, how to finish an arm-triangle choke from the standing position?

In the following jiu-jitsu instructional video, you’ll get some helpful steps to enter and finish the triangle arm choke correctly from a standing position.

Source: Randy Brown

Arm Triangle from Half Guard

The half guard is one of the most used guards in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Moreover, this BJJ position provides both players equal submission and transition chances.

Hence, you can do incredible things from the top or bottom half guard if you manage the distance correctly within your opponent while using appropriate grips.

The arm triangle choke is head-arm submission reachable from the bottom and top half guard position. Here is how?

Arm Triangle Choke from Top half Guard: To arm-triangle choke from the top half guard, you must follow these steps.

Source: Howcast

Arm Triangle Choke from Bottom Half Guard: To arm-triangle choke from the bottom half guard, you must follow these steps.

  1. Drive your hand around the opponent’s neck with one arm in.
  2. Bridge to destabilize your opponent and make your arm triangle so tight.
  3. Finish the submission.

Need more help!

In the instructional video below, you’ll learn to correctly enter and finish the triangle arm choke from the bottom half guard position.

Source: Howcast

Reverse Arm Triangle Choke

The reverse arm-triangle choke uses the same concept as the forward one, except it’s in reverse control. Furthermore, it can be an invisible submission from the north-south position.

The following gives the necessary steps to perform the reverse arm choke correctly.

Source: Invisible Jiu Jitsu

Rear Arm Triangle

The rear arm triangle may be an old and tricky head and arm submission that can be achieved from back control. However, it’s an effective submission applicable to no-gi jiu-jitsu and MMA.

Learn more about the process of doing a rear arm triangle in the following video.

Source: Howcast

Inverted Arm Triangle

The inverted arm triangle stands among the best arm triangle variations. It’s a brutal choke that’s so effective in both gi and no-gi grappling and MMA.

Source: Stephan Kesting

Arm Triangle Choke Defense

arm triangle choke

As mentioned, arm triangle submission is among the foremost effective techniques in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and MMA.

It may leave the receiver with few options, but if he has good timing and reading for the game, he can escape and defend the submission. So, how can I defend the arm triangle?

Answering the phone move is an excellent way to defend the arm-triangle choke. This move will help create space that allows you to breathe. But, It will help you gain some time, and it’s not a definitive solution.

Here’s an excellent video that gives you more tips to escape or defend an arm-triangle choke.

Source: fightTIPS

Arm Triangle Choke in MMA

Source: Embrace Cejudo


The triangle arm choke is one of the foremost effective submissions in BJJ and MMA. So, Many fighters use this submission alongside armbars, anaconda chokedarce choke, etc., to create a savage game. So, how does an arm-triangle choke work?

The arm-triangle choke is one of the best head and arm chokes. It’s a blood-choke submission that will force you to sleep if you don’t tap out at the appropriate time.

I hope this article has helped you perform the arm triangle from several positions to improve your jiu-jitsu. 

Speak your mind; Is the arm-triangle choke among your favorite submissions?

Related: The triangle choke is one of the most excellent attacks you should add to your BJJ arsenal. This firm chokehold is a must-know for any serious practitioner. Click here to learn more!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Perform the Arm Triangle?

You can perform the Arm triangle choke from the mount, side control, or the closed guard. The point here is to trap the opponent’s head and arm and squeeze off their air supply.

How to Get a BJJ Arm Triangle?

The arm triangle choke can be performed from the jiu-jitsu mount position. But, you can achieve it from the side control, guard, and standing position. 

How to Defend the Jiu-Jitsu Arm Triangle? 

You can try the straightforward “answering the phone” technique if you would like to defend the arm-triangle choke. This move will create some space between your neck and your isolated arm, and this might offer you only enough space to be ready to breathe.

However, if you employ this method, ensure you give your best shot to get out of this position.

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